herald

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Sentence delayed for officer who assaulted women

Gda Brian Hanrahan survived a holiday shooting in the US
Gda Brian Hanrahan survived a holiday shooting in the US

A garda convicted of assaulting two young women in a row over a €15 fee for a lift home has had his sentencing adjourned.

Gda Brian Hanrahan (34), who survived a 2015 holiday shooting in the US, will be sentenced at Nenagh District Court on June 22 following preparation of an expert psychological report.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath was told Hanrahan had fully engaged with the Probation and Welfare Service (PWS) since his conviction in February.

However, solicitor ­Caitriona Dwane said Hanrahan thought the PWS would direct him as regards a psychological report.

The PWS informed him this was not the case and the report was a matter for himself.

Punching

Ms Dwane said Hanrahan had then gone to consultant psychologist Dr Brian O'Keeffe.

However, Dr O'Keeffe had seen the young garda when he was assessed before returning to official duties after he was shot while on holiday in the US.

Dr O'Keeffe was concerned that his prior dealings with Hanrahan might represent a conflict.

However, neither Judge MacGrath nor Sgt Michael Keating, for the State, had any difficulty arising from Dr O'Keeffe compiling the report.

Judge MacGrath adjourned the matter for two months to allow ample time for the expert report.

Ms Dwane also pointed out to the court that her client faces financial issues. "He is in a difficult situation financially at the moment," she said.

Hanrahan had vehemently denied punching the two women near an isolated ­Tipperary cemetery last year.

However, Judge MacGrath convicted the Newcastle West-based officer of assault causing harm following a day-long trial.

She noted that an independent witness, a security guard driving home, had seen a man with red hair holding a woman by her hair near Lisboney ­cemetery on March 6.

Sobbed

Judge MacGrath also noted inconsistencies in Hanrahan's evidence, including his initial claim in a 999 call made from the scene that he had been confronted by six or eight people and "fought them all off".

Hanrahan is a married father-of-two whose children are aged six months and three.

The two young women at the centre of the incident, Emer Kelly and Aisling King, sobbed while giving evidence about the assaults.

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